Monday, 25 July 2005

Dirty weekend

Mr Doris, being the romantic sort, took me for a dirty weekend away. It was good to go and do something different and be in the great outdoors of Northumberland. We stayed in a beautiful old house dating from 1725 where we had full English breakfast that fills you and takes through the entire day.

Good job really as the dirty bit of the weekend involved traipsing across moors; scrambling up hills and rocks; through gorse bushes which I unashamedly squealed all the way through as the prickles poked through my inappropriate clothing; dealt with stampeding killer cows as we had to go through their fields (have you any idea how intimidating cows can be - especially when faced with 25 of them, all eyeing you suspiciously and following your every move); fighting our way through fern higher than us; and eating at a dubious fish and chip cafe by the seaside.

All for the search of petroglyphs which are the prehistoric carvings you find on rocks. The interesting thing about these carvings is that a good many of the same or similar images can be found on rocks all round the world. These are commonly thought to have been created about 4,000 to 5,000 years but is also reckoned on being about 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. Which, if you think about it, makes you wonder why these similar images are being recorded. Were they all seeing the same thing?

These images do not look like animals they are hunting, or pictures of their Aunt Freda and Uncle Ug.

This stone is about 2 meters across (as we look at it in this pic) and is called Weetwood 3 as it is in Weetwood, Northumberland. There are a number of cups (scooped out rock) each surrounded by 3, 4 or 5 concentric circles with a single line coming out.

Did I say how spectacularly beautiful Northumberland is? It is stunning. A patchwork quilt of fields and stone walls, ancient castle ruins, old farmhouses, hills and valleys, and there is the coastal drive along flat land with the rugged North Sea with its salty air. It was a privilege to be there.

Original Comments:

Red Mum said...
what a wonderful telling of your ahem dirty weekend. Lucky for some.

Sounds like the perfect weekend for me, well except for the hiking and gorse bushes, then I would probably complain a lot and want wee rests before trudging on, I don't think I would be much fun...

But the stones and the drawings wow.
Monday, July 25, 2005 9:10:00 PM
arrazello said...
tThe cows are not intimidating, they are merely observing human behaviour. Take this from one who lives on a farm. Sometimes I take my guitar outside to play and I have a lovely cow audience all lined up at the bottom of the garden. ;)
Monday, July 25, 2005 10:32:00 PM
Minerva said...
I have always found cows intimidating.. I believe that they would quite happily just walk over you and not be bothered.. Give me fiery stallions anytime..*wink*

Monday, July 25, 2005 10:57:00 PM
MrsDoF said...
My allergies are giving me the sniffles just reading about traipsing through brambles and over boulders. Though to see such artwork might be worth the pills and hankies coming at the end of the day.
You and the Mister have my admiration for enjoying such a time together. One to tell the grandkids someday.
Monday, July 25, 2005 11:00:00 PM
Neutron said...
Oh have really hit my nostalgia button!
These carvings are weird though huh? What did they actually use to carve them...metal??
Monday, July 25, 2005 11:23:00 PM
dog1net said...
I find that I'm becoming a regular visitor to your site, which I find to be quite creative and original. But I especially enjoy reading your narratives. Good use of descriptive details and humor put me right in the scene as if I was on the hike with you. I've linked your site to mine. I'd be appreciative if you link my site to yours.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005 12:53:00 AM
Mama Mouse said...
Obviously I must now visit Northumberland if I ever get back to England! You have made it sound absolutely wonderful and while I couldn't hike and therefore be intimidated by the cows ... I could at least see it from a more comfortable location!

AHHHHHHHHHH .... to be there and see it!

I love old things ... and I do mean OLD ... as in these petroglyphs and Stonehenge!

But you haven't been intimidated until you have been eyed down by a male buffalo protecting his harem of females! Now THAT was intimidating!
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 4:16:00 AM
Cheryl said...
I love cows - they only follow you if they like you, otherwise you get the cold shoulder. The only thing I worry about is whether there are a matching number of udders in the field. Bulls can be very unfriendly if 'competition' enters the field.
Love that rock. What do you think, Roman tiddly winks?
Too jealous of you getting away to have any sympathy about the brambles!
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 7:12:00 AM
Karen said...
I agree, I think cows are very scary - hell hath no fury like a bunch of cows in a field - don't let their big eyes fool you....
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 9:10:00 AM
doris said...
Red Mum - Hee-hee! I did mention divorce a couple of times and loudly questioned my love for Mr Doris but it was all in humour.

Arrazello - Ha-ha! I can imagine you sitting outside playng to the cows :-) At one point Mr Doris went into a field with cows as there was a rocky outcrop to be checked. In the distance I could see him talking to the cows, describing the size of the rocks and wondering if they had seen them!

Minerva - I'd probably be just as scared of stallions too. Maybe I am just a scaredy cat.

MrsDof - Thanks :-) You know, you have so much artwork in the States, and probably without the hayfever.

Neutron - Hi! (I've just had a quick look at your blog and will be over there shortly [I've visited before]... teeth and dental treatment is prominent in my life at the mo!) These carvings would have been made long before metal is thought to have been around so likely they used stones harder than the rock they are carving. Either way, it would have been a laborious task.

Dog1net - I am sorry about the affliction you are feeling with my blog! I hope you recover soon. Meanwhile.... I have visited your blog and as you will see from the number of comments I have made there is plenty to have got me talking!

Mama Mouse - You would love Northumberland. Just driving around and stopping and sitting and doing nothing would be blissful. The castles are like something out of medieval stories and films. The stones are just not accessible nor easy to find. However, you do know that the South West of America has vast numbers of petroglyphs and as I recall from our visit there a few years ago, some are actually made to be wheelchair accessible!

Cheryl - LOL It's OK about the teasing, I can take it! I love the idea of tiddly winks!

Karen - I know that the cows are really grass eating softies but there is just something terrifying about their bulk. Maybe I exaggerated a little about them being killer cows! The mini stampede happened when one must have slipped and lost its footing causing the others to all jump and then next thing I knew I was flying to the nearest fence. Worst of all, leaving Mr Doris calmly standing there watching them sort themselves out. I felt very bad about that and very disloyal to my Mr Doris. Made me think about way too much the way I was prepared to let him be stampeded to death.....
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 10:31:00 AM
Mike Hitchen said...
Sounds like a great time! I really love this blog and your style of writing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 12:12:00 PM
Milt Bogs said...
Those damn graffiti artists ruin everything.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 12:30:00 PM
doris said...
Mike Hitchen - Thank you for saying so! :-)

Milt Bogs - LOL! Mr Doris joked that maybe these pictures had been put there by pre-historic teenagers knowing that in future years we would spend much time trying to work out what they meant. We reckoned they must have pee'ed themselves laughing while they carved them out!
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 12:45:00 PM
arrazello said...
Next time I play to the cows, I'll take a photo of my audience. It is very funny, they seem to enjoy human company.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 4:23:00 PM
doris said...
Arrazello - I look forward to the cow pic! :-)
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 7:18:00 PM
Ghone said...
I bet the stone felt nice under your fingers...
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 11:32:00 PM
DaFFy said...
As far as cows go... I crashed my car a few years ago through a fence and into a paddock containing very large and curious bovines that quickly surrounded me and my car.
They figured it was about time they received some hay, and were all drooly and icky.
Oh yes cows can be scary.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005 3:07:00 AM
Ally said...
It sounds fantastic. Maybe we should try Northumberland instead of Cumbria next time we get away for a weekend ...
Wednesday, July 27, 2005 11:27:00 AM
WarpedTourMom said...
I'm jealous.

One of the things we want to do when the kids are grown is head to Europe for a pre-historic site tour. The stone circles, the burial mounds, all those wonderful old places. There's only one site like that all all of the Northeast US. There used to be more, but they were destroyed in the name of progress. :(

Your petroglyphs picture came out great. With so many of them it's hard to really get a good look at the carving, but yours shows it in all it's wonderful old glory. Great post!
Thursday, July 28, 2005 12:43:00 AM
ella m. said...
I got distacted mid way through by the mention of fish and chips.....I'd be overjoyed if I found a single restaurant here in the US that made them properly, rather than something that looks like a warmed over mid century tv dinner. ~sigh~
Thursday, July 28, 2005 12:58:00 AM

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